Bulgaria Introduces COVID-19 Green Pass for Cinemas

    Cinema house in Sofia Cinema house in Sofia

    SOFIA: Bulgaria’s Ministry of Health has launched the COVID-19 Green Certificate as a mandatory requirement for access to cinemas. The initial version of the decision was to enter into force on 22 October 2021, but due to strong negative public responses, the government gave a grace period until 25 October 2021.

    The restrictions include theatres, concert halls, restaurants, gyms, clubs and shopping malls. The Green Pass will have to prove vaccination, being post-illness, or a negative result of an antigen or PCR test.

    According to caretaker Minister of Health, Stoycho Katsarov, “Bulgaria ranks last in the EU according to the number of vaccinated citizens with only 20%. Therefore, the number of infections and deaths is going up and this forces us to take additional measures for a shortest possible period of two weeks.”

    The international book and film festival CineLibri, which is currently running in Sofia and in some of the country’s major cities, reacted with an official statement: “The decision, imposed with no time for reaction, no dialogue and no strategy, does not correspond with our will and we distance ourselves from the way it was announced.”

    At the same time, in less than 24 hours the festival offered a number of options encouraging the audience to use already purchased tickets. These include free access to online screenings of the festival films on Neterra.TV+, free tickets after the measures are lifted, free accreditations for the festival's 2022 edition, free books from the Colibri Publishing House, etc.

    On 14 November 2021, Bulgaria will hold both Parliamentary and Presidential elections, which is an important reason to avoid a potential lockdown.